Jan. 28, 2014
HOUSTON - While inclement weather in the New Orleans Area forced the Green Wave to alter their travel plans, the Tulane University women's basketball team will continue its 2013-14 schedule as planned when it take on Conference USA foe Rice on Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Originally slated to fly to Houston on Tuesday evening, the Tulane coaches, staff and student-athletes boarded a bus at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Monday, headed west on I-10 and arrived at the hotel at approximately six hours later. The team held a two-hour practice on the Owls' home court Tuesday afternoon and will spend the rest of the day resting indoors before taking the court against Rice a day later.
Women's Basketball Defeats C-USA Foe Rice, 61-45
Seniors Janique Kautsky and Tyria Snow scored 15 points each as the Tulane University women's basketball team defeated Conference USA foe Rice, 61-45, on Thursday evening in Devlin Fieldhouse.
Tulane heads to Houston 14-5 on the year, 5-1 in Conference USA action and riding the crest of a three-game winning streak after posting back-to-back overtime victories over Southern Miss (73-71 on Jan. 18) and Charlotte (78-76 on Jan. 22) before defeating Louisiana Tech in regulation (75-61 on Jan. 25).
As a team, the Green Wave are averaging 70.7 points, 42.1 rebounds, 16.4 assists, 8.2 steals and 4.0 blocks per game. Junior guard Danielle Blagg leads four players averaging double figures offensively with 13.5 points per game while junior point guard Jamie Kaplan, junior forward Tiffany Dale and freshman guard Leslie Vorpahl follow with respective averages of 12.0, 11.0 and 10.2. Dale paces the team with 8.5 rebounds and shares team high blocked shots honors with sophomore Chinwe Duru at 1.4 swats per game each. Kaplan leads the Green Wave with 6.7 assists per contest while junior wing Adesuwa Ebomwonyi holds team-high steal honors with 1.4 thefts per outing.
"I think we have to keep everything in perspective," Stockton said. "We're only two games away from being in the middle of the conference pack. I like our attitude. I like that we're fighting, we're really doing some nice things and we're finding a way to win. As a coach, that's something that you sometimes search for and our players have done that. I like that we're coming out aggressively in the games. That's been a real positive for us. Hopefully we can play on the road here, get a good win and get back home."
Rice, meanwhile, enters the ballgame 10-9 overall, 3-3 in Conference USA and looking to snap a two-game skid after dropping a 53-47 decision at East Carolina on Jan. 22 before falling at Charlotte, 58-53, on Saturday.
As a team, the Owls are averaging 64.4 points, 42.2 rebounds, 13.2 assists, 5.9 steals and 3.2 blocks per contest. Jessica Kuster is the lone player on the Rice roster averaging double figures offensively with 20.3 points per game while Maya Hawkins is next with an average of 8.1. Kuster also paces the Owls with 13.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per outing, and Reem Moussa headlines the Rice offense with 3.5 assists per contest.
Rice is hitting 39.7 percent of its shots from the field, connecting on 457-of-1151 attempts, including a 62-of-216 showing from beyond the 3-point line (.287) while allowing opponents to tally a 38.9 field goal percentage (451-of-1159) with a 28.0 performance from 3-point land (78-of-279). Owls' foes are averaging 65.6 points, 39.3 rebounds, 11.3 assists, 8.8 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.
"This is always a tough game when we come here," Stockton said. "It's always very challenging to win on their court. You talk about a player that is averaging a double-double in Kuster. Finally, she's a senior and she's having a tremendous year. It's going to be a tough challenge for our players to match up. We have to play our game, we really have to score and we have to play consistently for all 40 minutes."
Wednesday's game marks the 29th meeting between Tulane and Rice on the hardwood, and the Green Wave hold a slight 16-12 advantage in the all-time series. Tulane is 11-8 against Rice under Stockton, and 10 of those victories came since the Owls joined Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 season.
The Tulane/Rice series dates back to Dec. 2, 1980 when the Green Wave posted a 73-53 road win over the Owls. Tulane is 8-6 against Rice in Houston, including a 69-65 decision in the last meeting in Tudor Fieldhouse on Jan. 17, 2013.
That game is the second of three consecutive wins for Tulane in the series as the Green Wave sandwiched home victories of 50-47 in overtime on Feb. 16, 2012, and a 61-45 on Feb. 14, 2013. Rice's last win the series came on Jan. 12, 2012, when the Owls claimed a 67-49 victory in Tudor Fieldhouse.
"Traditionally, this has always been a good game," Stockton added. "No matter where our programs were in that particular year, this is always a challenging game. We've always played them twice and now we only have them once. These are two similar programs. The players know each other pretty well and it's always a good matchup."
Following the Tulane/Rice contest, the Green Wave return to on Saturday, Feb. 1, when they play host to league foe UTEP at 1 p.m. in Devlin Fieldhouse. The game against the Miners is the first of a two-game homestand for Tulane as the Wave will take on North Texas on Feb. 5.
For tickets to those games, as well as future Green Wave Athletics events, contact the Tulane Ticket Office. The ticket office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson Jr. Center, and fans can also order tickets on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by calling (504) 861-WAVE (9283).